Before You Start: The ideal rice-to-water ratio is 1 to 1.1 (or 1.2) for Japanese short-grain white rice, which is 10-20% more water. For an easy US cup measurement, I use 25% more water in this recipe for a rice-to-water ratio of 1 to 1.25. One US cup (240 ml, 200 g) of uncooked rice yields roughly 2⅓ US cups (420 g) of cooked rice, enough for about 2 servings. One US cup of cooked rice weighs 6.3 oz or 180 g. A typical Japanese rice bowl holds 150 g of steamed rice and an onigiri rice ball weighs about 110 g.
Measure: Overfill a 1 US cup measure with uncooked short-grain rice and level it off. Put the rice in a large bowl. Repeat until you have the measured amount of rice needed. For this recipe (and video), I used 2 US cups of short-grain rice.
To Wash the Rice
Quick Rinse: Add just enough tap water to the bowl to submerge all the rice. Then, discard the water immediately. Repeat one more time.Tip: Rice absorbs water very quickly when you start rinsing, so this step helps remove impurities from the rice and prevent it from absorbing the first few rounds of milky water.
Wash: Next, use your fingers to gently agitate the wet rice grains in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds. Using very little water allows the grains to rub against each other. It also reduces the absorption of impurities from the milky water.
Rinse: Add tap water and immediately discard the cloudy water. Repeat one more time.
Repeat Wash and Rinse (steps 2 and 3) two more times.
Drain: When the water is almost clear, drain the rice completely. Tip: Use a fine-mesh sieve to drain and shake off any excess water.
To Soak the Rice
In a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, put the well-drained rice and measured water. Soak the rice for 20-30 minutes before cooking.
To Cook the Rice
Cover the pot with the lid and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Take a quick peek to see if the water is boiling (otherwise do not open the lid).
Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook, covered, for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed (take a quick peek). If you see there is water left, close the lid and continue cooking for a little longer.
To Steam the Rice
Remove the pot (with the lid on) from the heat source and let it steam for another 10 minutes. Tip: This resting period is crucial for the rice to steam properly. Resist the urge to peek under the lid and release the steam during this time.
After 10 minutes, uncover the pot and fluff the rice with a rice paddle. It's now ready to serve.
Transfer the rice to airtight containers and close the lids to keep the moisture in. Let cool completely before storing the containers in the freezer (read my tutorial post).